Lube is the humble bedroom pantry staple that is absolutely essential. Whether it’s something you use frequently or just have on hand “just in case,” the slippery stuff can save sex.
Lube can make impossible sex possible. It can make uncomfortable sex sexy. It can help in a pinch if she’s too dry because of meds, stress, or fluctuating hormones. It can mean older women remain sexual. It makes jerking off more pleasurable for guys. It makes anal sex exciting and pleasurable instead of painful, for the men and women on the receiving end.
What kind of lube do you have in your toy chest? There are so many kinds that it can be confusing, or you wonder if you could be using something better. Maybe you just picked up a tube at the pharmacy, and it feels more medical than sexy.
Here’s your complete guide to different kinds of lubes on the market, what they’re for, which ones are better, and what you need when.
9 Kinds of Lube for Life and Love
1. Olive Oil
Olive oil is the original slide and glide. Since ancient Greece, humans have been enterprising and resourceful. Olive oil was known for centuries for making sex more pleasurable, especially for those receiving anal penetration.
Olive oil is natural and nourishing. But it’s very difficult to wash out. It can cause infection in the vagina because it leaves a film that bacteria can stick to, and friction will push it into the urethra where residue will stay. Some report skin irritation and hives from the compounds in olive oil.
The slick factor works well, and it may feel good in the moment, but the mess and possible infection or distress—that’s an ick factor.
2. KY Jelly
Thankfully, a few thousand years later, doctors invented this goo as a surgical lubricant. It was 1904 and helped make gynecological and other exams and surgeries far more comfortable. It quickly caught on to everyone else that this was just the stuff the world had been waiting for, and soon KY was known as “intimate jelly.”
KY continues in popularity today as a trusted name, and easy to find at any pharmacy.
While there are better lubes and sexier bottles on the market, you could do worse. Plus, this is usually available in medicine cabinets because it has lots of medical uses. So it’s handy.
#LubeLife is the bestselling lube on Amazon. This is your standard, everyday lube And if you’ re like millions of other online shoppers, it will become your go-to glide.
Happy users report that the consistency is natural, it doesn’t get sticky, it comes in neutral and a variety of fruity flavors, and the price is right.
One caution: although this has an anti-allergic ingredient list, those who aren’t happy with the product report a stinging sensation. Hopefully this is not you!
Wet has been making their popular, original water-based formula for 25 years. It stays wet longer and has a silky feel that users lover. Lots of Wet fans won’t use anything else—why bother? It works great, it’s easy to clean up, it’s hypoallergenic, and it’s safe to use with condoms and with sex toys.
The stuff comes in a variety of packaging and sizes, including a GALLON with a pump!
A little luxury goes a long way. This silicone lube keeps it simple, with spare packaging and limited ingredients. It is silky, smooth, and light as a feather. It’s safe with condoms and sex toys except for silicone sex toys (the silicone will ultimately dissolve the silicone toys, but other toys are fine). It works nicely underwater, and is great for anal as well as for sensual massage.
Read: 3 Step Erotic Massage
6. Passion Lubricant with Injector
Some lubes come with a syringe-like tube to inject into the orifice. It can be very handy for anal sex to have lube inside already, not just around the opening. Having a ready-made injector is practical to a point—but using a disposable (needle free, obviously) syringe is a better idea.
7. Doc Johnson Anal Glide
Doc Johnson is a longstanding maker of sex toys, and this is the best lube for anal sex—period. It is thick, slick, long lasting, and has numbing/relaxing ingredients as well as antibacterial properties.
And yes it is too good to be true. This lube is fine if you and your partner are monogamous, but it does not work with condoms.
8. Pjur Back Door Water-Based
Lots of folks prefer silicone formulas for anal sex and Pjur makes wonderful silicone products (including Back Door Silicone!)
But this one is water based and more highly concentrated to allow less drying and more slippage. It’s a favorite for those who enjoy pegging or fucking with dildos because it is silicone-toy compatible.
9. Warming Lube
Warming lube tends to be something we try a few times for fun or novelty and then lose interest in. Gel that heats up may be “nothing special,” and things get quite warm on their own.
So why does everyone including KY have a warming lube option for sale?
Warming gel isn’t going to give you magic orgasms. However, it is amazingly useful in many situations. One, he or she wants to jerk off in a cold place. Two, she takes a long time to “warm up.” Many women take a lot of stimulation and relaxing to get going. Warming gel can help her relax and bring blood flow and endorphins to her vagina.
Warming gel can help if she’s experiencing low hormone fluctuations and many older women discover that this product, which may have been of little use at 20, is indispensable at 55.
This may be too much for you, but if you feel like dessert, Wet makes a warming lube in chocolate chip cookie flavor. Yes, please!
How big a part does lube play in your sex life? Please share your favorite lube?